31-31 THOMSON AVE QUEENS
I have been longing to go to Adda for quite some time.. My experience with Indian Food has been rather disappointing.. I have had dishes that I have loved, I have had experiences that have shown me it's potential and even when I have been to the generic places, I still walk away with a sense of mild enjoyment.. To me, indian food at it's most basic and americanized, is still more enjoyable than americanized chinese food.. I much prefer butter to sweet I guess.. But, with the the high praises from both Robert Seistsema, (someone I truly respect) and of course Pete Wells, I have been so excited to try this place.. Despite the fact that I didn't want to read the review until I went there myself. But, the hours are weird and it's far from my house and circumstances have kept me away..
So last night, we were out at an event and we wanted to leave early so, I figured it would be a great time to make a run for it.. We checked yelp and made a reservation through the app... The room is comfortable and warm and it was happening at 730 last night... It was right next to a college and there were tons of young people in there.. I think we were the only people over 30 in the joint. It reminded me of a more organized , comfortable and friendly ugly baby.
The place is byob, i walked next door to 7-11 and purchased 3 modellos. The food looks incredible.. There is a whole dorode that comes covered in this spice mixture. There are briyani cooked in clay pots covered with naan tops. All visually appealing.. We peruse the menu and make our decision.. I really, really want the whole fish but, we just had a whole fish last night.. The food reads well, everything seems interesting.. prices are low.
We started with the young chicken.. The waiter waxed poetically about it.. How it's marinated and the spice... It was well, ok.. The masala spice was good. it tasted like chicken marinated in yogurt.. didn't really pick up smoke or anything... The oil at the bottom hardened before we finished and it turned into like a solid sheet of melted candle wax. But yeh, i mean, didn't stand out.. the onions were a nice touch... my buddy who grew up with first generation parents often spoke about how raw onions were just eaten with food all the time. So, I guess this was an authentic touch.
We ordered the goat briyani. I don't remember which one.. But, it came in a clay pot with covered in a naan with a great spice mix.. The pepper was really nice.. The briyani itself was cooked really well.. the goat perfectly stewed, the marrow delicious, there was a great heat.. There was an overwhelming cardamom flavor.. I tasted a little clove as well but, really it was over the top cardamom.. I enjoyed this, Miss A likened it to eating a pod.. Either way, this was one of my favorite Briyani.. My favorite being from a Pakistani Restaurant in Khan BBQ in Chicago..
Malvani Coconut Curry.. The sauce was delicious. Nice hints of more clove, there was shredded coconut in the sauce that added body, there was a nice spice. Everything was going well... But, prawns, you say? Oh, no, no, I am sorry. These are not prawns.. These little shrimp escaped from a 99 cent shrimp cocktail from Downtown Las Vegas.. These were maybe u/60's or something.. Truly and 6 to a serving for 23 bucks... It seemed like a mistake.. Not to mention, on yelp, ,the prawn dish has heads and shrimp that are large.. Perhaps they ran out and ran to a bodega? I don't know but, it was not worthy of the sauce...
Also, i mean, can you imagine the transformation this little restaurant has gone through.. Imagine both Eater and NY times starts to give you this high praise.. There is no way the quality and the procedures have not been stream lined.. I promise when this place opened, it was not expecting to be wall to wall people on the coldest night of the year in the middle of nowhere on a wednesday..
They are hiding in there somewhere:
So, in summation, I was not blown away.. I liked the Briyani, my wife did not.. I liked the curry but, the shrimp were not great.. We had a chat that arrived half way through the meal that we forgot about.. The naan with cheese and chili was good.. Over all, there is a lot more of the menu to explore.. It's was good, they are trying, they are doing different things than your cookie cutter place.. I will be back but, it may take some convincing of my bride.. The space is lively, it's fun, people are excited...